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Shenandoah Podiatry
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Toll Free: 855-997-2367
Roanoke: 540-904-1458

No More Smelly Feet!

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Dreading to wear those winter shoes that cause your feet to smell?? Well we might have some good news for you!

With these cold days creeping up fast, flip flops and sandals are no longer a good option to let your feet air out that bad smell. First, we need to discuss how that “bad smell” even exists. Bacteria love moist/warm feet, socks, dead skin, and shoes. The bacteria found in these places are the cause of your unfortunate embarrassing foot odor.

Luckily for you, we have some healthy remedies to help prevent this foot odor as well as some home remedies to treat foot odor. We will start with the healthy habits first.

  • Wash your feet often and try to use a pumice stone to get rid of the dead skin.

  • Wear shoes made of natural materials, such as leather, which tend to breathe better than those man-made shoes which don’t let heat escape.

  • Wear socks that allow your feet to breathe too. You should change your socks at least once during the day to prevent sweat to build up and NEVER wear the same pair two days in a row.

  • Avoid shoes that are lined with solid rubber or synthetic materials.

  • Wash your shoes, if possible. Most shoes, such as sneakers, can be washed right in the washing machine. However, let them air-dry instead of putting them in the dryer. (Better for your shoes and better for your bill!)

  • It is best to alternate shoes everyday. You do not need to have five pairs of shoes but try to have two good pairs and alternate them. While doing this, air your shoes out in between wearing them by loosening up the laces and pulling up on the tongue.

  • Believe it or not but what you eat can determine the smell too. Try to avoid foods with strong-flavoring such as garlic, onions, scallions, and peppers because the aroma can pass through your bloodstream and concentrate in your sweat.

  • Getting stressed or anxious with the holidays coming fast? This will cause an increase in production of sweat, which gives the odor-causing bacteria more to feed on.

Now that we have talked about some healthy habits to help prevent that smell, let’s talk about some home remedies to stop your foot odor. Don’t try all of these at once, pick one or two that you can do daily (or at least 3-4x a week) and stick with it. If it doesn’t work – move on to another method!

  • Pour two to three teaspoons of liquid chlorophyll (Chlorophyll helps sweeten your feet) into a bucket filled with a gallon of warm water, and soak your feet for 15 minutes. Make sure to dry your feet completely after soaking.

  • Soak your feet in one third cup of apple cider vinegar, added to a small pan of warm water, several times a week.

  • Make a pot of black tea and pour it into a dishpan. Soak your feet for ten minutes once the tea has cooled down a little. Tea contains tannic acid, which helps eliminate foot odor.

  • Apply tea tree oil on your feet, toes, and nails thoroughly after showering to kill the fungus and give your feet a nice smell.

  • Sprinkle some baking soda inside your shoes to absorb the moisture and the odor.

  • Zinc, a vitamin, makes the skin more resistant to odor-causing bacteria and may reduce or eliminate the odor within a week or two. You can take 15 to 30 mg of Zinc per day either alone or in a multi-vitamin. DO NOT take more than 30 mg of zinc since high levels can interfere with the absorption of copper and can damage the immune system. Talking to your primary care physician is recommended before taking anything.

  • Spray or sponge on colloidal silver on your feet and let them air dry. The colloidal silver can be very effective at eliminating odor-causing bacteria.

  • A lot of people know of ginger as helping with nausea, but it can also help with foot odor. Mash a one or two inch piece of ginger into a pulp, put it into a handkerchief or piece of gauze, and soak it in hot water for a few minutes. Rub the ginger liquid onto each foot each night after taking a shower.

  • Juice about two dozen radishes, add 1/4 teaspoon of glycerin, and put it in a squirt bottle or a spray-top bottle. Spray the feet and let them air dry to help decrease some of the foot odor.

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